Environmental factors influencing the pigment composition of in situ benthic microbial communities in east Antarctic lakes

first_imgTo compile reference data for palaeolimnological studies using fossil pigments, we examined the extent to which environmental variables, gross morphology and species composition influence the modern pigment content of in situ microbial communities in 62 east Antarctic lakes. Pigment contents, measured using HPLC, were compared with 32 environmental variables, gross microbial mat morphology and cyanobacterial species composition in each lake. Results showed low concentrations or an absence of pigments in the water columns of most lakes. For benthic microbial communities, multivariate statistical analyses identified lake depth as the most important factor explaining pigment composition. In deeper lakes the pigment composition was dominated by chlorophylls, in intermediate depth lakes by chlorophylls and carotenoids, and in shallow lakes by scytonemins, ultraviolet-screening pigments found in cyanobacteria. In addition to lake depth, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, sulphate and geographical location were all significant (p less than or equal to 0.05) in explaining variance in the pigment content. Significant differences in microbial mat gross morphologies occurred at different lake depths (p less than or equal to 0.01), and were characterised by significant differences in their pigment content (p less than or equal to 0.004). Despite the high abundance of scytonemin in shallow lakes, there were only limited changes in the absolute concentrations of chlorophylls and carotenoids. We conclude that lake depth is the most significant factor influencing both gross mat morphology and pigment content, presumably as a result of its influence on the light climate. In general, the ability of the cyanobacteria to regulate their pigment content, morphology, community composition and motility to best exploit the light environment at different lake depths may explain their dominance in these systems.last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE: Reservation Agreements move forward as final text is agreed

first_imgThe government’s plans to introduce Reservation Agreements have taken a step forward after industry consultation group the Home Buying & Selling Group (HBSG) headed up by Kate Faulkner (pictured, above), revealed that the wording for the agreements has been finalised.Full details of what has been agreed are due to be released in the weeks after the New Year, Faulkner has told The Negotiator.“Now the document is agreed, we can get cross-sector opinion on whether these agreements are a good idea and that’s going through a research phase which the government is managing,” she says.As well as work on the government’s ‘How to..’ guides this is the first significant work to come from the HBSG, which is a testing ground for proposed government policies and ideas designed to help make home moving ‘cheaper, faster and less stressful’.The cross-party nature of the work on Reservation Agreements is crucial; many agents will remember what happened when Labour disastrously tried to bring in HIPs without substantial cooperation from, in particular, estate agents.Who’s in it?The HBSG includes 150 cross-sector representatives including from the ministry of housing, estate agencies, portals, mortgage lenders, conveyancers, redress schemes, consumer groups such as the HOA and removals firms and has been drawn together over the past two years.Faulkner says it is also working on several other areas of the home buying and selling process including government plans for leasehold reform, up-front property information gathering prior to sale, and better education of consumers about the buying process.“There are loads of complications with leaseholds at the moment and we have a working group looking at that and we’ll an announcement about that soon,” says Faulkner.Read more about Reservation Agreements. HOA kate faulkner reservation agreements The Ministry of Housing December 6, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » EXCLUSIVE: Reservation Agreements move forward as final text is agreed previous nextRegulation & LawEXCLUSIVE: Reservation Agreements move forward as final text is agreedKate Faulkner’s Home Buying & Selling Group has worked with a cross-party group of industry representatives to nail down a version of the agreement which is due to be trialled next month.Nigel Lewis6th December 201901,489 Viewslast_img read more

Cake Décor gains craft distribution

first_imgCake decoration company Cake Décor has signed a deal with BFP Wholesale that will see its writing icing tubes and cake decorations distributed to the craft bakery, sugarcraft and confectionery sectors in the UK.The Glasgow-based company has recently invested around £250,000 in high-speed filling and packing machinery, and appointed two food technologists, which has enabled it to target the craft sector.Cake Décor MD Bill Donnelly said: “BFP Wholesale, with its nationwide coverage and strong links with the craft market is ideally placed to distribute to bakers.” He added that the company’s products help bakers save time and reduce wastage compared to making up their own icings and decorations in-house.Cake Décor supplies a range of naturally coloured and flavoured icings in tubes, ranging in size from 19g to 450g. The company also offers pre-packed cake decorations and confectionery.last_img read more

Alumni win Nobel Prize for economics

first_imgTwo alumni of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) won the Nobel Prize for economics Monday for their work on change and the macroeconomy.The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel — officially called the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel — to Professor Christopher A. Sims of Princeton University and to Professor Thomas J. Sargent of New York University. Both scholars got their Ph.D. in economics from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) in 1968. Sims also graduated magna cum laude in mathematics from Harvard College in 1963. The two will split the award’s $1.5 million prize.In their award citation, the members of the academy listed some of the important questions that Sargent and Sims addressed in their research.“How are GDP and inflation affected by a temporary increase in the interest rate or a tax cut?” they wrote. “What happens if a central bank makes a permanent change in its inflation target or a government modifies its objective for budgetary balance? This year’s laureates in economic sciences have developed methods for answering these and many other questions … ”Sargent and Sims are the sixth and seventh Harvard alumni recognized with 2011 Nobels. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Harvard Kennedy School alumna, was a co-winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Saul Perlmutter ’81, Brian P. Schmidt, GSAS Ph.D. ’93, and Adam G. Riess, GSAS Ph.D. ’96, won the Nobel Prize in physics. For the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, the late Ralph M. Steinman, Harvard Medical School ’68, was honored posthumously.For more information.last_img read more

News Pioneer Sandy Close wins Nieman’s I.F. Stone Medal

first_imgSandy Close, executive editor and director of Pacific News Service (PNS), has been selected as winner of the 2012 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence. The Nieman Foundation for Journalism will present the award at Lippmann House on Dec. 6, 2012.Close will receive the honor in recognition of her many achievements in journalism and for giving a voice to individuals and communities too often ignored by mainstream media. In nominating her, the I.F. Stone Medal selection committee acknowledged her steadfast efforts on behalf of ethnic news organizations and her mentoring of young journalists.Close has served as executive director of Pacific News Service since 1974. Under her leadership, PNS has helped launch the careers of a generation of talented young reporters who often focus on individuals and issues on the margins of society. One of the first regular commentators for NPR’s “Morning Edition” in the mid-1980s, Close went on in 1991 to create YO! Youth Outlook, a monthly magazine written by and about young people. In 1996, she co-founded The Beat Within, a weekly writing journal by incarcerated youth. That same year, she founded New California Media, which subsequently became New America Media (NAM), under the umbrella of Pacific News Service. Today, NAM is the largest editorial and marketing collaboration of ethnic media in the United States.Close previously received a MacArthur Foundation genius grant and won the 2011 George Polk Career Award. She also co-produced the Academy Award-winning documentary “Breathing Lessons: The Life and work of Mark O’Brien.”last_img read more

Energy innovations

first_imgFarmers want to do things efficiently. It makes sound business sense. Ground was ceremonially broken in Tifton, Ga., May 3 for a center to help show them how to produce and use energy more efficiently on the farm.“The Agriculture Energy Innovation Center is about innovation, development and demonstration of new systems for agriculture to develop and integrate techniques and technologies that will improve agricultural energy efficiencies,” said Craig Kvien, a UGA crop and soil sciences professor and the center’s leader. “The initiative builds on past and on-going programs.”Center partners include private farms looking to use bio-energy crops or solar technology instead of propane to produce heat and electricity for farm use, and UGA and U.S. Department of Agriculture plant breeders who develop crops that require less energy and time to grow. Wireless technology to control and monitor farm equipment will also be developed and tested at the center.Energy: Mission CriticalThe main mission of the center, Kvien said, is to find ways to create energy-saving strategies or technologies that can be applied in a real-world way on a farm.The center will be funded through a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.The research and education activities in the initiative will take place in Georgia, said Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who attended the groundbreaking and garnered the funding for it, but the results can be applied to other parts of the nation. “This will be the only one of its kind in the nation, but we hope the nation will benefit from its experiments,” Kingston said.Model homeThe first building on the site will be a net-zero energy farm house and lab. It will be constructed using environmentally friendly or refurbished materials. It will be positioned for the solar panels in the roof to capture the most sunlight, which will provide electrical power. Water will be heated from heat captured under the roof. The house will need only one-third of the power of a normal home of similar size. It was designed by Cadmus Design-Build. The house’s landscape will include edible plants and fruit trees.Students enrolled in the Green Technologies program at Moultrie Technical College will build the farm house, using it to learn construction techniques. Graduate students and scientists visiting the UGA Tifton campus will live in the house. It will also be open for educational tours to showcase ways to conserve and produce energy in the home.Construction for the farm house will begin early next year.last_img read more

January 15, 2004 Letters

first_imgJanuary 15, 2004 Letters Judicial Appointments With interest one notes the thought- provoking criticism of judicial appointments bespoken in a letter published in the December 15 News. Perhaps the letter writer is unaware of the salutary developments in Central Florida, wherein the governor has, among other circuit appointments, given us the first African American circuit judge in the history of Seminole County (a Columbía graduate not fitting the profile suggested by the correspondent) whose colleagues recently elected chief judge, and a skilled and widely regarded female criminal defense attorney who has spent a professional lifetime defending individuals against acts of government.No one with a mind closed to Ecclesiastes’ “time and circumstance,” by the sort of agenda depicted by the writer, would ever have appointed such independent professionals.The folks appointed were not media stars; it is unlikely that these (and other) appointments could have occurred without diligent effort by judicial nominating commissions, follow-up exhaustive investigation (including innumerable hours of personal contacts) by the governor’s general counsel and staff, as well as expected reflection by the governor.One wonders if the hundreds of hours (including those of interested private citizens) the undersigned is aware were expended in the searches culminating in these appointments, included any of the correspondent’s time. Was it Pericles who observed well over 2000 years ago that, “We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say he has no business here at all”?T.W. Ackert Winter ParkIn response to a December 15 letter to the editor commending Gov. Jeb Bush’s judicial philosophy, I have two words: Terry Schiavo.Marc A. Falco Sarasota Setting a Precedent? Does an electric company have a legally recognized obligation pursuant to the “undertaker’s doctrine” (Restatement (Second) of Torts §324A (1965)) to maintain street lights for the benefit of streetside pedestrians? Yes, according to the Florida Supreme Court in its split December 18, 2003, decision overturning defendants “no duty” summary judgment in Clay Electric v. Johnson. Senior Justice Shaw, joined by Justices Quince, and Pariente, Anstead and Lewis (who also specially concurred), followed what reads like a modernist trend in tort law that “reasonable care is not beyond the reach of any enterprise.” Citing Weinberg v. Dinger, 5 24 A.2d 366 (N.J. 1987) . Pariente’s concurrence stresses that economic cost-benefit analysis is not traditionally employed to decide “whether to impose a duty on an entity who negligently injures a foreseeable third party.” She tempers the majority opinion by highlighting defendant’s failure to put facts bearing on “reasonable under the circumstances” in evidence, noting that where the record supports it such policy issues may be submitted to the jury. Justice Cantero (joined by Justice Wells) opines that the majority misapplies the undertaker doctrine and intolerably broadens enterprise liability beyond Florida ( Union Park Memorial v. Hutt (670 So.2d 64 (Fla. 1996) and McCain v. Florida Power (593 So.2d 500 (Fla. 1992))as well as age-old common law (H.R. Hoch v. Rensselaer Water, 719 N.E.2d 520 (N.Y. 1928), Justice Cardozo for the majority) by extending public undertakers’ duty of care beyond merely primary and immediate benefits to include secondary and incidental benefits, as well.overlooking the fact that the street was no more dangerous with a light out than if the lights had never been installed, Cantero highlights several questions the majority opinion logically leads to: do local governments have to light all streets; are negligent placement of lights or too few watts or failure to immediately replace burned out bulbs viable causes of action? The decision rationally applies to all providers of public services, which given the degree of privatized public services, encompasses a host of entities. Do cellular phone companies have an obligation to provide 911 service now that they know people are using their products as their primary means of communication? Stay tuned.Nick W. Stieglitz, Jr. Miami January 15, 2004 Regular Newslast_img read more

Why are you paying incentives?

first_img 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Paul Robert Paul Robert has been helping financial institutions drive their retail growth strategies for over 20 years. Paul is the Chief Executive Officer for FI Strategies, LLC, a private consulting company … Web: fi-strategies.com Details In recent years, many credit unions have implemented incentive programs as a way to motivate their employees to sell more products and services to members. I would wager my son’s college savings account that most of those credit unions are paying for the same level of production they could get with a much better understanding of basic human motivation.You may remember studying Herzberg’s theory of motivation in school. It taught there are a defined set of “motivators”: achievement, recognition, challenging work, responsibility, advancement, and personal growth. Notice what’s missing? No reference to money! Sure, money is a “hygiene” factor in Herzberg’s theory but it’s represented as part of the salary we need to survive, not motivate us to accomplish more.Most employees, including your most productive sales people, do not consider money as their primary motivator. Focusing on those other motivators listed above will allow most credit unions to realize equal or greater production from your staff … without paying a dime in incentives! Motivators like recognition from the CEO; solid, consistent coaching; and investing in employee development aren’t easy or cheap but they can have an equal or greater impact on sales production as paying a monetary incentive.I know someone who recently went rock climbing in Wyoming. Hundreds of feet up the face of a piece of granite, twelve-thousand feet in the air, with no safety net … no thanks, I’ll wait in the bar and look at your photos when you get back. Seriously, I don’t care how much incentive you’d pay me- it’s not worth it to me to put my life in danger like that. But my friend didn’t do it for any “incentive”; she was motivated by the challenge and personal growth.For some of your employees, expecting them to sell or refer is like climbing the Grand Tetons – it’s like putting their life in danger. And I don’t care how much incentive you pay, they will NOT be motivated to do it on a consistent basis. Your employees need to know why they’re doing it; they need to know how to do it; and they need to believe that their efforts will be recognized and rewarded by the credit union. A financial incentive does not need to be part of that equation.I’m not saying incentives are completely unnecessary. In fact, I believe they play a very important role if developed and deployed properly. Following are three vital components to successful incentive programs: 1) pay only for incremental performance; 2) pay for team AND individual production; and 3) pay as frequently as possible.In spite of what I said in the opening paragraph, there are some credit unions using incentives in very successful and prosperous ways. My firm would be happy to introduce you to the steps that can make them successful at your credit union. Please contact us at www.fi-strategies.com/about/contact-us.last_img read more

NAFCU-sought relief in House-passed highway bill

first_imgA multi-year transportation bill (H.R. 22) overwhelmingly approved by the House Thursday includes an amendment from House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, that advances some NAFCU-supported credit union regulatory relief measures.The transportation bill passed the House on a vote of 363-64 and is headed to a House-Senate conference, where lawmakers will seek to resolve differences between that and the Senate-passed bill.Hensarling’s amendment includes H.R. 601, the “Elimination Privacy Notice Confusion Act,” which addresses a part of NAFCU’s five-point plan for regulatory relief by clarifying that consumers will receive privacy notices after opening a new account and when their provider’s privacy policies change; this would be a change from the current requirement for annual notices. This measure was approved by the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 57-0; it cleared the full House this April on a voice vote.The amendment from Hensarling, and included in the House-passed transportation bill, also includes H.R. 299, the “Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act”; it allows privately insured, state-chartered credit unions to apply for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. The Financial Services Committee approved the bill by a vote of 56-1. The bill passed the House with a voice vote in April. continue reading » 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

​Italian pension fund Solidarietà Veneto to add infrastructure, real estate

first_imgItalian pension fund Solidarietà Veneto has announced plans to broaden its asset allocation to include infrastructure and real estate for the first time.Reporting on developments in the first half of this year, the €1.36bn pension fund said that because of the experience it had gained in private debt and private equity, it was now ready to further develop its alternatives investment, but also to introduce two new asset classes: infrastructure and real estate.In doing this, the fund — which covers staff of companies based in the Veneto region — said it would ideally try to “neutralise the environmental impact”.Paolo Stefan, director of the pension fund, described this approach as: “highly innovative for our country, but one that is almost normal if we look beyond the Alps”. The pension fund reported that environmental considerations were increasingly mentioned in meetings by some members. Solidarietà Veneto said that in the January-to-June period, financial markets had remained hostage to the policies and announcements of the central banks, which meant that attempting to diversify via quoted investments alone was likely to prove partially ineffective.This, it said, was the reason the pension fund had planned, in its last strategic asset allocation review, gradually to increase its allocation to alternatives.Since 2013 the fund had been leading the way in Italy in this area, it said, citing the start of its investing in private debt and private equity. Fresh sub-fund tweaks The pension fund also said it made changes to some of its sub-funds at the beginning of July, including to the asset allocation mix of the ‘Dynamic’ fund. The equity weighting for this sub-fund has been ramped up to 54% from 50%, with the bond weighting falling to 46% from 50%.“The intention is to compensate for the greater volatility arising from the increase in equities through deeper diversification and a more effective risk/return ratio, which will benefit the young people associated with this sub-fund,” the pension fund said.Meanwhile, benchmarks for the ‘Prudent’ and ‘Income’ sub-funds are changing to lengthen the bond duration, which the pension fund said should result in higher expected returns over the next few years.Solidarietà Veneto’s total assets rose to €1.36bn at the end of June from €1.26bn at the close of 2018.“The new wave of expansive monetary policies announced by the ECB and the FED has driven the performance of almost all the asset classes in the first part of 2019,” the pension fund said.The Dynamic sub-fund made a 6.09% return in the six-month period, it reported, while the Income, Prudent and Guaranteed TFR sub-funds posted returns of 3.93%, 3.59%, and 1.03% respectively.last_img read more